Regional funding announced for electronic prescribing

13 trusts will be the first to receive a share of £78 million to support electronic prescribing and medicines administration (ePMA) to improve patient safety

Prescription medicines in a pharmacy

The new electronic systems will help hospital trusts move away from handwritten prescriptions. This will:

• reduce potentially deadly medication errors by up to 50% when compared with the old paper systems
• build up a complete electronic record
• ensure fast access to potentially lifesaving information on prescribed medicines reduce duplication of information-gathering

The 13 NHS trusts have been chosen because they provide a mixture of acute, mental health and community services. They will receive a share of £16 million funding for 2018 to 2019.

The roll-out of full ePMA across healthcare organisations will improve efficiency in the healthcare system by:

• making the most effective use of medicines
• increasing the use of digital systems to generate additional data sets

This will help clinicians gain a greater understanding of the management of diseases.

In February 2018, the previous Secretary of State announced that the funding would be made available for trusts that had not made progress with implementing electronic prescribing. This funding will help to speed up the implementation of ePMA across all trusts within the next 3 years to 2021.

Health Minister Stephen Hammond said:

"As part of the long-term plan for the NHS, we not only want to harness technology to make it one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, but crucially to improve patient care.

"The funding provided for these trusts will help to drive these changes to the patient experience, but will also aid our hard-working and dedicated staff.

"The introduction of electronic prescribing is not only known to reduce medication errors, but also frees up time for staff by moving away from archaic paper-based systems."

Andrew Davies, Director of Hospital Pharmacy, NHS Improvement said:

"There is evidence that electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems will improve safety for patients, reducing the risk of harm and ensuring high quality efficient patient care which is as safe as possible.

"I’m delighted so many trusts have submitted successful bids to accelerate the introduction of these systems to provide safer, better quality patient care. We are now looking for more trusts to bid for funding by the end of January."

The first regional allocations are as follows:

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust - £1,020,000
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust - £750,000
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust - £1,600,000
Humber NHS Foundation Trust - £300,000
Northern Lincolnshire And Goole NHS Foundation Trust - £940,000
Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust - £820,000
University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trus - t £2,190,000
Barts Health NHS Trust - £1,700,000
East London NHS Foundation Trust - £740,000
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust - £1,450,000
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust - £1,170,000
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust - £1,620,000
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust - £1,700,000